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MIA: Why this woman's new job could kill babies.

By MIA FREEDMAN

The media love Jenny McCarthy. Love her.

She’s blonde, hot, poses for Playboy every couple of years and – unlike most female celebrities who look like her  – is willing to say controversial things to get attention. She’s also prepared to be a bit wacky.

Like the time she did this:

Jenny McCarthy with then boyfriend Jim Carey, posing for papparazzi in Malibu.

The Jenny McCarthy wiki page describes her as a model, actress and author and as of this week, the new co-host on America’s biggest daytime talkshow, The View. And some people fear this will lead to the death of children. Something not nearly as far-fetched as it initially sounds.

Jenny McCarthy on Playboy

In a powerful article on Salon.com titled: Dear ABC, Putting Jenny McCarthy on “The View” will kill children journalist Alex Pareene argues that Jenny McCarthy isn’t just quirky. She spreads lies that hurt people.

Because here’s the other thing you should know about Jenny McCarthy:  she’s the world’s most famous and out-spoken anti-vaxxer. She believes – loudly, stridently, unshakably – that vaccines gave her son autism and she uses every media opportunity to say so.

There is not a single scientist, researcher or medical professional in the world who agrees with Jenny McCarthy. There’s not a single credible study to back up her claim. And yet she continues to make it. Repeatedly.

In fact she describes herself as an activist says it’s her mission to ‘educate’ the world about the ‘dangers of vaccines’. And the media continue to help her do this by inviting her to be interviewed on their TV programs, putting her on their magazine covers and now, giving her a daily audience of millions of receptive women on a live, unscripted show.

In his Salon article, Alex Pareene writes:

Vaccines don’t cause autism. Vaccines, instead, prevent disease. Vaccines have wiped out a score of formerly deadly childhood diseases. Vaccine skepticism has helped to bring some of those diseases back from near extinction. Children have actually died as a result. Vaccine skepticism isn’t just some “alternative viewpoint” that is stupid but ultimately harmless, like “detoxing” or 9/11 trutherism.

Parents have been convinced by McCarthy and the people she works with and promotes. They have forgone vaccination for their children. The result has been the recurrence and spread of preventable diseases. It’s incredibly irresponsible for a broadcast television network to think Jenny McCarthy should be on television — in a position where her job is to share her opinions — every day. It should seriously be a major scandal.

On The View, it’s now Jenny McCarthy’s job to share her opinions every day with an international audience of hundreds of millions of women. Many of them are mothers or soon-to-be mothers.

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And many of them are likely to confuse famous with credible, preferring to listen to a pretty, famous person talking about a serious issue on a talkshow than someone with an actual clue.

The Bachelor, Tim Robards

And while questions are being asked in the US about the potential deadly consequences of giving someone like Jenny McCarthy such a powerful platform to spread hr damaging message, this week we’ve had our own celebrity anti-vax controversy in Australia.

Social media has been buzzing with unconfirmed reports that Tim Robards, the Australian star of The Bachelor, is allegedly an anti-vaxxer (you can read more about those claims here).

The rumours appear to be based on the fact that he’s a chiropractor (many but not all chiropractors are anti vaccination) and that the practice where he works sells anti vaccination literature (a book, which has been withdrawn overnight).

When we put the rumours to Channel 10 yesterday, they issued us with a firm ‘no comment’. So who knows what The Bachelor’s position on vaccination truly is.

So far, there haven’t been many discussions about vaccinations with the female Bachelor contestants competing for Robard’s roses so we may never know.

Writes Alex Pareene:

With ex boyfriend Jim Carey and her son at an anti-vaccine protest.

Vaccine conspiracies, like so much modern cult conspiracy culture, perpetuates itself and lives on indefinitely thanks to the community-building and archiving of the Internet.

With the help of some very prominent advocates, with huge audiences and a great deal of influence, it has spread far beyond the fringe.

McCarthy has been one of the movement’s most prominent voices for years, and, infuriatingly, much of the media has treated her bullshit as weepy celebrity “awareness-raising” fare instead of crackpotted nonsense.

So if you’re in any doubt, this is a good rule to remember: get your medical advice from doctors and scientists. Not YouTube videos. Not chiropractors. Not celebrities and not Dr Google. Because on the one hand there’s science and on the other hand there is no other hand.

The lives of children, newborns and other vulnerable people in our community quite simply depend on vaccinations – not just their own, but everyone’s.

Do you think people with dangerous health views should be given a platform to promote them?

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